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How to Identify Email Scams

Overview

This page is intended to aid in the process of identifying various types of emails that may be an attempt at gathering personal information such as usernames and passwords. Such emails are referred to as a "phishing" email or scam. If you receive an email and are uncertain of how to proceed you may forward the email to the Support Center.

Key Indicators

If you answer yes to any of these questions it's possible the email may be a scam or phishing attempt.

  • Does the email ask for a username or password?
    • Any IT communications will NEVER ask for your password. Your password should NEVER be given to anyone for any purpose.
  • Does the email ask you to click on a link to verify information?
  • Is the email from an address you're unfamiliar with?
    • Note: Just because the email appears to be from a trusted source DOES NOT mean the email is safe. The "From" address can be faked, making a sender appear legitimate when they are not. Other Key Indicators should be used to determine if the email is legitimate in this case.
  • Does the email contain poor grammar?
    • Poor grammar can be a Key Indicator, but should not be the only indicator for determining if an email is or is not legitimate.
  • Does the email contain attachments that you were not expecting?
  • Does the email claim to be from IWU but directs you to a website address that does not contain indwes.edu?

What To Do Next

If you receive an email from someone and are uncertain if it is a scam, a good first step in finding out is to contact the person listed as the sender via alternative means (phone, face to face etc.) to see if they did send the email out.

If you're unable to contact the person and after going through the Key Indicators above you're still uncertain it would be best to forward the email to the Support Center.

If you are able to determine an email is a scam, you may safely delete the email from your inbox.

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Last modified
22:54, 1 Dec 2014

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